Elsie’s Spring Art Journal

Spring art journal 1Hi friends! I wanted to share some photos and details about the process behind my spring art journal. This year I am making an effort to start a new art journal each season. Art journaling is one of the healthiest creative habits that I've found. I hope this post inspires some of you to start one too! Art journal processHere are a few details behind my creative process… 1. Supplies I used… An old used journal (I went through it beforehand and ripped out any pages with ideas or lists I needed to keep) this is a great way to recycle a purse journal after it's filled with random lists and notes you don't need anymore… I would have normally tossed an old journal like this! I also used washi tape + colored masking tape from the art supply store, a pack of colored origami paper (best colors ever! i purchased this a Hobby Lobby), scissors plus some found paper and view master slides. 2. Paint the outside of the old journal to give it a new life. 3. Recover the front of the journal with a large photo, trim to size and add a new binding to the book with masking tape. I also added letter stickers to the front (see the photo below) for a bold title. 4. Choose your favorite colors from the origami paper pack. I loved this step because I got to create a palette that totally reflects my color instincts for this season. I cut it up and am carrying the scraps in an envelope for future art journal pages. 

Prepping pages
Next, spend some time prepping the inside pages. I like to prep a lot of pages (at least 10) at one time and then carry it with me and write on the pages over time. Above are a few examples, but the possibilities are endless! Play with color, texture and photos you love to make pretty backgrounds for your journal entries. Spring art journal 2And here are a few photos of my finished journal. I'll be carrying this around this season recording little bits of life! I have tons of art journals from the past ten years and they are truly one of my favorite keepsakes. 

Spring art journal 3
Spring art journal 3
Spring art journal 3
Spring art journal 3
That was fun! Are you in the mood to make your own art journal now? Start one today with random supplies you find in your home. xoxo, elsie 

  • Great, great idea. I love scrapbooking, journaling, and everything of the like mostly to look back on what your made, said, painted, drew years later

  • I really LOVE this idea! This will be my next project =)Thank you for the inspiration!

  • I love this! I have trouble justifying huge creative projects when I’m busy with school work, but miss the creative outlet. Something like this could be the perfect way to balance it all out! Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  • Perfect timing that I saw this! I am making my Spring/Summer Wish To Do List. I am so inspired by this post!

  • So great. I just love watching your endless creativity. the view master slide is my favorite part.

  • I love this idea. I am so doing this. I love collecting journals. It would be nice to add a couple of my own creations to the mix 😀

  • Handmade journals are so fun! It’s bittersweet that blogging is so popular because people don’t keep real journals as much but it does make it that much easier to write down things and connect with other people’s ideas.

    Thanks for the reminder to journal.

  • I LOVE journals! I have so many of them and their especially great for when I have ideas that I have to get out. My favourite journals are my travel ones though. I keep every ticket stub, every leaf that blows across my way and every photo so that at the end of my trip I can turn it into a book. I’ve been doing it for over ten years now… so I have a few of them!

  • I call my art journal “the black book” (because it´s a black book, haha), and I filled it with lot´s of nice and interesting things. For example is one page is filled with sugar packets which I emptied, because I thought the images them were nice and so on. I don´t use to write much in it, I let pictures speak instead.

  • thank you so much for sharing your creativeness with us! i also your art journal e-course and can’t wait to start my own!

  • I just created a photo journal out of an old readers digest book. I was inspired by you emphasizing the importance of printing out all those digital photo memories. It turned out really great, I will send you a link when I put it up on my blog!

  • I am TOTALLY in the mood to start an art journal. This post just gave me a funny feeling in my belly. I’ve been creatively blocked for a while, and I feel like this is going to be my cure.

  • This is great idea! I always find that I forget to write/draw in my journals, even if I carry them around. I’m definitely going to point more effort and focus into it now.

  • SO cute! I’m trying to get more organized so I totally want to do this! 🙂 Especially on this rainy day!

  • I need to do this… I can’t draw but I could do this for sure and I need something like this to keep me centered and think positively. I wish I had more time, but it’s just a matter of making time.

  • I’m not sure I understand the purpose of an art journal. I think I’d be afraid to write something in it I’d regret… like a typo or something embarrassing… then have to throw the whole thing away.

  • I used to keep a journal like this. I transformed old sketchbooks with fun + colourful abstract drawings. It’s great to see what other people’s look like – and makes me want to take the time to start art journaling again! Thank you!

  • What a great idea! I could never write “drink more tea” for myself…it just would be possible (without turning into a crazy tea lady…as in more than 6 cups a day…I’m drinking tea RIGHT NOW). But I totally endorse your commitment to tea! Twinings Earl Grey for the win!

  • oooo. I remember when you used to talk about art journaling a lot and I always thought “oh… I should really start one” but never did! I WILL now! It’s on my list:)

  • Great idea. I never though of customizing artistically a journal before using it. I always browse them in shop but can never find something I absolutely like. I think this is the solution!

  • wow that looks amazing- you are so creative. yes after that im tempting to do the same. i would if i have time to do it eek!



  • How I wish I can be as artistic as you guys… I can write really well but I’m at a loss in the creative arts department. Haha.

    Maybe this art journal project can help me improve . Can’t wait to try it out. 🙂

  • I’m absolutely inspired to start my own. I always journal, but it’s just in a composition book with black ink. I need more color in my life! <3

  • I’m going to take you up on that challenge. Art journal here I come 🙂

  • I wish I could start my own but I don’t have much time, patience, and money for a journal. Right now, I’m trying scrapbooking so I could “practice” for my own journal. :]

  • Such a wonderful idea! I have so many used/semi-used notebooks lying around, now I know what to do with them 🙂

  • I am addicted to journals…I always seem to find a new one that I want (or from this post…one that I want to make!). This was such a fun post!

  • I have an art journal…the same one I’ve had for the last 10 years. Full of treasures, it transitions from my first college days to married life to motherhood. It’s nearly full, so I’ll be beginning a new one soon.

  • Thanks for sharing your inspiration!

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  • excellent! this just inspired me to start writing in my journal more. when i was younger, i used to have a journal with me AT ALL TIMES. i was constantly writing, taping something, or drawing in my notebooks. i would go through a composition notebook about once a month. i think i have about 50 of them stashed in my closet as we speak!

    also- origami paper is just the best for anything. perhaps making a mini notebook with the colored pages?

    thanks a bunch

  • such a great idea! i used to journal all the time, and i miss it. maybe this can be my new project over spring break!

  • oooh i love it!
    i totally wish i had time for this but between blogging, working, photoshoots and all, i have absolutely NO TIME! Wish i did 🙁 thank you for the inspiration hun!
    Ginger and Lace

  • Ahh it’s lovely to see peeks into your art journal! I have been really getting into art journaling recently and posting a series of challenges on my blog to help me along and for others to play along with. It’s been a really good motivator and it’s so fun to see other artists work!
    I love the way you prep your pages and reuse an old journal! Thanks for the lovely inspiration (as always!)

    x Rachel


  • That’s beautiful 🙂 I have a question: what about developing photos from films?! I have a lot of photos of my wedding on disposable cameras so I ask you if you have a ‘mailing developing system’ that you could suggest me!
    Thank you 🙂

  • It looks super attractive! i shall do one for my fren or something! Thanks for the awesome idea! <3


  • This is such a fantastic idea! I’m always looking for new ways to stay inspired and this definitely fits that bill. Thank you for sharing!

  • What a great idea! Over the weekend my boyfriend and I have our home some curb appeal. We spray painted some bigger rocks that we found laying around our yard and spray painted them yellow. On the big one I painted our address and on the smaller one a peace sign. It was so much fun. Love outdoor projects! Have a fantastic week. Looking forward to seeing more fun projects and ideas. =-)

  • LOVE this! I am doing your art journal e-course right now and loving every minute of it. These journals are such a great place to capture ideas, images and dreams. Thanks for sharing:)

  • So creative and colorful! This post makes me want to run to the art store and get started!

  • What a great idea! I collect journals to keep my “to do” lists in because they’re soooo pretty. I love the idea of making them into art journals. Thanks, Elsie!

  • Hi Elsie,
    You’ve really inspired me to start my own journal – I just have one question. When you were creating the pages from the old notebook, did you stick paper over the top of the pages you had already used or rip them out? If you ripped them out, how did you create the new pages?
    Thanks, Claire.x

  • eeeek! this is AMAZING. i am so inspired to create one of my own…thank you <3.

    as a little girl, i was so diligent in journal writing, almost everyday. i suppose my crazy schedule keeps me from journaling regularly these days..but this is fantastic, and lovely!


  • I love this!!! Oddly i have just started photographing some of my Moodboards onto my blog (i have almost fifty….yikes!!) I thought it was a nice way of people seeing inside my head, how i think, why i wear what i do etc….i love this post so much!!!

    I cant get into Pinterst, i love it and i think its an amazing site, but i just love sitting and gluing and sticking and hanging my moodboards up

    Sal xxx

  • I was just looking for a way to get the “juices” flowing again! Thank you! Let’s see if I can conjur up a little time to put an art journal together. These two boys take some super sweet time..

  • very cool, elsie! i began art journaling a couple of years ago and it is so much fun, especially because you are doing it for yourself, so there’s no holding back. i just went to hobby lobby and bought a bunch of supplies and hopefully will start another today. thanks for the inspiration, girl 🙂

  • Gorgeous! Your amazing work makes me want to makea new one, my current one is nothing like yours 🙂 I’m pretty keen for 34 hour days too ha!

  • Hola Elsie, I love your blog and ideas. You are such an inspiration! You really have a BEAUUUUTIFUL AND MESS BLOG. I would love to give some life to my Journal after reading your last post…

    SALUDOS from Sevilla ( Spain )


  • This is much more fun than my Ye-Old-Craft-Store-Sketch-Book! I’m feeling pretty motivated today so lets say I’ll make a fancy art book this afternoon.

  • Try Pomplamoose…ooh my new favorite band of all times. Funky, rich, dance-y, and melodic all at the same time. They have a YouTube channel, I think. Indie.

  • This looks so fun!!! I haven’t used a journal in awhile, but I think im going to start again. 🙂 Great post <3

  • Hi Elsie,

    I’m not used to leave comments but let me tell you that I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I just want to tell you how much you inspire me, you are such a creative person and I really have to tell you that.
    Thanks for all the beautiful posts.

  • I LOVE journals! I have so many of them and their especially great for when I have ideas that I have to get out. My favourite journals are my travel ones though. I keep every ticket stub, every leaf that blows across my way and every photo so that at the end of my trip I can turn it into a book. I’ve been doing it for over ten years now… so I have a few of them! http://www.okeyhappy.com

  • Ooo! You reminded me with that last picture that I’ve been wanting to get a vintage signet ring for sooo long. Now that spring is here, time to begin my hunt again!

  • You’re totally Amazing, how do you keep up with yourself, I love that you are always doing something productive and sharing it with all of us… I can’t wait til 2013 for your photography book. I’m entering my first photography competition tomorrow, if you have time pop over and give me ANY tips… (you don’t have too though, because I already learn so much already from reading your blog!) LOVE A.B.M so MUCH!!!
    Mrs C

  • To me personally, your art journal projects are the most inspiring! I love the way that you can simplify things enough that you get lots done & ‘prep’ your pages… this is something I really need to learn, as I tend to spend a long time on each page, but only do it very occasionally.

    Now coveting your latest art journal course! Need to find a reason to treat myself soon… 🙂

  • Hey just wanted to leave a comment that I really love these journals. If I didn’t own 3847 new ones already (they’re so beautiful… but a gal can only write so much!) I would make one for sure 🙂

  • So pretty. i’m afraid i’d be too critical about my art journal…you know wanting to make it perfect and not being satisfied. i love to write/type…so my blog is my creative outlet since i’m not an artist. but i sure do love to look at yours!

  • Thank you for sharing! I’m in the process of making my own right now! SO MUCH FUN.


  • I love this. I can’t wait to finally uncover everything in my studio from the move and make some room for new inspiration 🙂

  • Awesome idea, I’m gonna start with it tomorrow :)Thanks for the idea! Greetings from Belgium 🙂

  • I love this! Just made my first Art Journal and have been waiting for this post since you mentioned it on Twitter! Thank you for sharing! I love it!

  • Im so inspired!!!!!!! I love journaling and this is beautiful! I want to do this stat! thanks for sharing. your blog is beautiful and I love following it! so many cute creative ideas!

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  • It look so pretty! i really want to make one too but its so hard to find the stuff to make a beautiful one. Great work!

  • How pretty! It looks like a wreck your journal thing. I had one but I always got lazy filling it up >3<

  • I love the idea of art journaling. I have just decided to start one of my own, so it is great to find some inspiration. Thanks!

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  • This is awesome! I think ill make some for my friend! Do you make your own book or buy an already made one?

    ~Corrie 🙂

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